Critics dared: Prove Paolo’s into smuggling
STO. TOMAS, Batangas—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday dared his critics to show him proof that his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, was involved in illegal smuggling and, if he were, he would resign.
Defending his son amid allegations of giving “tara” for his business transactions, the President stressed his son was simply working to make a living.
“If that is smuggling—give me an accounting and I will resign. I have no problem resigning,” the President said during the inauguration of a solar manufacturing plant here.
“Prove it is true, and I will resign,” he added.
The President disclosed his son’s transactions at the Bureau of Customs arose from the buy-and-sell business of Paolo’s former wife, Lovely.
“You can always see him at the waterfront helping his in-laws, and he has to earn for his kid and has to work for his family,” Duterte said.
He added everything being thrown at his family was simply a “rehash” during the last elections.
In a separate speech, the President, who was former Davao mayor before getting elected to the presidency, recalled his son got married at a young age and was forced to work for his in-laws, and would have to face many troubles.
“Eighteen years old he was, he eloped with a Muslim, whose father was a Tausug and the mother a Maranao; and their business, you know this those of you who have been assigned to the ‘ukay ukay’ sub-beat,” he told members of the Philippine Air Force dragon boat team Tuesday night.
“He had to work for his in-laws, he was 18 and his wife was 24, reason he worked at the pier carrying on his shoulders ukay ukay including jars,” he said.
Customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba told the Senate Blue Ribbon committee Tuesday he handed P5 million in cash as a one-time “enrollment fee” to a friend and “handler” of Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte to facilitate his transactions at the Bureau of Customs.
Taguba, the broker of the P6.4-billion shipment of shabu that slipped through Customs in May, said he met “Small”—whom he identified as Davao Councilor Nilo Abellera Jr.—and a certain “Jack” in a restaurant in Davao City to hand over the money in January 2017.